news digest


FCC process could clear sat radio air

WASHINGTON — The FCC said Wednesday that it will begin a rulemaking process that could help determine whether it will permit the nation's two satellite radio companies to merge. In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the commission said it will decide whether it enacted a rule when it set up the competing Sirius and XM satellite radio services in 1997. Opponents of the merger contend that the FCC set the rules of the road and that those rules must be changed in an official action before the commission can allow the merger to go forward. Sirius and XM contend that the commission enacted a policy statement rather than a rule when it established the services.

According to ABC, 'Jim' coming back

As expected, ABC is bringing back the veteran comedy "According to Jim" for a seventh season. The network has ordered 18 episodes of the sitcom, which didn't land on the fall schedule but remained in serious consideration while the studio was working on ways to continue the long-running show on a reasonable budget. "Jim," from ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, stars Jim Belushi, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Larry Joe Campbell..

NBC Uni unit ups Lund to exec vp sales

NEW YORK — NBC Universal Television Stations has promoted Mark Lund to executive vp sales. Lund replaces Rich Cerussi, who recently became president and GM of KNTV-TV, NBC's O&O in San Francisco. The appointment is effective immediately. Lund was senior vp sales at WNBC-TV in New York and NBC Uni's East Coast Stations Group, the national sales offices in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

CBS pulls Dohring into 'Moonlight'

"Veronica Mars" alum Jason Dohring is reuniting with the show's producers, Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures, with a co-starring role on "Moonlight," their new series for CBS. The drama centers on a private investigator (Alex O'Loughlin) who is a vampire. Dohring will play ancient vampire Josef. He replaces 60-year-old Rade Serbedzija, who played the part in the pilot presentation before the character was reconceptualized as a young, mischievous hedge fund trader. Dohring is the second new addition to the "Moonlight" cast, following the recently cast Sophia Myles (HR 6/27).

Spike, MTVN team up for Cyber Games

Continuing the migration of video games to other forms of entertainment, Viacom Inc. properties Spike TV and MTVN's cross-platform network of broadcast and digital media outlets have entered a deal for World Cyber Games events. It marks the largest multimedia platform deal for the professional-gaming league and the first time Spike TV will telecast the Olympic-style WCG Grand Final, which this year is set for Oct. 3-7 at Qwest Field in Seattle.

Make a note: Country music database a go

Veteran music journalist Tom Roland has launched a country music database, The site catalogs more than 36,000 events from country music history with detailed background credits for more than 8,500 hits and significant tracks and is presented in a chronological format. On July 9, the site will become a subscription offering for $9.95 per month.